Illegals – a False Dichotomy

The decision not to persist with those quite hilarious ‘Fuck off Home’ vans designed to scare illegal immigrants into handing themselves in is perhaps one of those rare instances where sufficient sense existed amongst the political class to (finally) recognise the utter fucking lunacy of what they were doing. Equally madhouse were claims that a pathetic stunt with ‘amateur hour’ written all over it was akin to something from a fascist dictatorship.

What I’d really like to get hold of, as is the case with much that government does, is a transcript of the meeting which concluded, “so it’s decided then, we’re gonna have a big van with ‘fuck off home’ written on the side to scare people into doing just that - why didn’t we think of that before? I mean, it was staring us right in the fucking face”. I’m not sure sometimes if we’ve been transported to a parallel universe, that these things are being done deliberately to wind people up, or Britain just happens to be run by complete fucking morons. I never thought I’d have to write this, but Hitler or Franco would never have gone in for something so ridiculous, would they?

I suppose this a response to the populist ‘concern’ about the country being swarmed by millions of illegal immigrants. By its very definition a precise number is elusive, but that doesn’t stop gorblimey specialists from having a go, reminding me of that old joke, “do you know that forty-three percent of statistics are made up on the spot?”. How many illegals are here? Is it a million? Two, five, ten, a hundred million? Are they all aware of each other, and who they are? Maybe they’re waiting until there are enough of them before invading us from within, starting an illegal vs legal civil war, then establishing a dictatorship of those who had no right to be here?

Apologies, I shouldn’t have said that last bit – just blatant scaremongering…

Although Paul Dacre wants a word, apparently – something about writing for the Mail…

There’s a part of all of us that loves a panic – be it a healthscare, secret societies plotting world domination or whatever. In that respect, illegal immigration is just the latest in a long line, provoking the same cocktail of legitimate concerns and fucked-up angst in most that, er, legal immigration does. But it’s worth asking exactly why this panic exists and whether or not it follows a logical thread. Part of this question centres around an IEA study that, at a low end estimate, suggested that 10% of GDP is actually made up of the black/shadow/informal economy, the very same economy that illegals are restricted to working in.

So, are the regulated and black economies one and the same, or ‘connected but separate?’. Surely it’s the latter?

Anyone who has watched Border Patrol Uk, a trash TV show aimed at making ‘legals’ feel better about themselves will have seen the classic case of the takeaway or restaurant staffed entirely by illegal immigrants or over-stayers. The invitation to the viewer, of course, is for them to conclude that the work and economic activity that has now been closed down will be rightfully restored to the legitimate/formal/regulated economy. From a rational perspective, this is complete bollocks. When you factor in that illegals have no right to welfare, the minimum wage or protection under employment law, it becomes clear that we’re dealing with two separate economies, not parts of the same one.

The reality is that there is a false dichotomy at work here. Jobs and wealth created outside the formal economy exist entirely because it is unregulated and businesses do not have to pay, as a starter for ten, either the minimum wage or national insurance on those they employ. This is not the exclusive preserve of illegals, as many who were born and raised here partake in a slice of the ‘cash in hand’ action themselves, either as a top-up to benefits or because it suits them. Rates of pay are often set at a level just below the minimum wage in the formal economy, which, income tax considered, leaves all parties slightly better off than they would otherwise be.

Sounds like the formal economy could learn something from the informal one…

If governments really dislike illegal immigration, then this can only be because it results in economic activity taking place without them getting a slice of the pie themselves – of course, anyone who spends the earnings of informal labour will be paying into ‘the system’ in one form or another, while being entitled to precious little from it in return. It strikes me that if you’re genuinely concerned about legal immigrants ‘stealing our jobs’ and plundering the welfare state, then you should be championing the good old illegal, who works in a part of the economy entirely removed from the formal one, will almost certainly be a net contributor and is just very fucking glad to be here.

Anyway, I’m off for a takeway, hopefully made by illegals – see you soon.

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